Blockchain, Bitcoin and Altcoins
Blockchain has become the new buzzword. Let it be programmers, financial analysts, everyone can be heard talking about this new emerging technology called Blockchain. Blockchain is basically a decentralized digital public ledger that does not belong one centralized entity and is as a result much safer and secure platform.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is based on blockchain and is as a result not issued by any banks, institiutions etc. It is completely decentralized and is a better alternative to traditional currency in many ways.
There are many advantages to using cryptocurrency over traditional currency. Below are some of them:-
- No middle-men required
When performing a transaction through cryptocurrencies no middle-men are involved. It is just a straightforward transaction involving you, the sender, and the receiver.
2. Transaction Free
Since no brokers or middle men are involved, there is no need to pay compensation to them. No heavy interests on credit cards etc. that can take a good bite out of your savings. Whereas cyptocurrencies may require you to pay some fees to process the transaction but they are always less than their traditional counterparts.
3. More security
Cyber attacks have become commonplace these days. Credit card details and other account information can be easily compromised. But cyrptocurrency is there to the rescue. It is able to avoid this problem by emplying various encryption techniques and other measures that guarantee safe transactions.
Cyptocurrencies first received traction back in 2008 with the advent of cyptocurrency known as Bitcoin invented by an unknown person known by their pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Bitcoin has been praised a lot but also criticized to the same degree. Bitcoin is open-source, its design is public and nobody has authority over it and everyone is allowed to take part. It has been a huge hit since and its value has fluctuated a lot over the years. It has ranged from just 10 USD in 2010 to around 20000 in 2018. This fluctutaion of price has produced a good number of billionaires who were able to see the potential of this lucrative investment.
Though Bitcoin has become synonymous with the word “cyptocurrency”, these past few years have also seen the rise of almost equally successful cryptocurrencies that are called ALTCOINS.
Many of them have been modified versions of Bitcoin, created through a process known as Hard Fork. These currencies often follow a similar mining process to their parent currency Bitcoin, which relies on Proof of Work consensus algorithm.
Following are some of altcoins:-
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
Now let us talk a little bit about them.
Ether, the cryptocurrency was launched back in 2015 and is now the second-most successful cryptocurrency while Ethereum is the decentralized platform that is able to utilize smart contracts.
It was launched back in 2012 and it enables banks to settle cross-border payments in real time, with end to end transparency, and at lower costs. Its consensure ledger doesn’t require mining. It is successful in reducing the usage of computing power and minimizing the network latency.
It was launched in 2011 and was among the first cryptocurrencies to follow in the footsteps of Bitcoin. It is like Bitcoin in number of ways but brings forth its uniqueness by introducing faster block generation which in turn allows for faster transaction confirmation rate.
It was launched in 2014 and has been described as a blockchain-enabled platform designed to facilitate the use of fiat currencies in a digital manner. It is one of the most popular examples of “stablecoins” which are nothing but cryptocurrencies aiming to peg their value to a currency to reduce volatility.
5. BINANCE COIN
It is the official token of Binance cryptocurrency exchange platform. It allows different Binance users to trade in different cryptocurrencies on Binance platform. It can also be used to pay for many goods and services including but not limited to travel expenses.
These were some of the altcoins that have also been successful post the launch of Bitcoin. I hope this article was informative to you and introduced you to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and drove you to learn more about this exciting technology. Happy trading!